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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Having a working knowledge of construction acronyms would have helped any visitors that might have come to last Thursday’s Ste. Genevieve County Commission meeting.
Jeremy Manning of Smith & Associates Engineering of Poplar Bluff came north to visit with the commissioners about various projects and grants. This is where the acronyms came in.
The grants include a Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant, an Off-System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation (BRO) grant and a Federal Land Access Program (FLAP) grant.
Paperwork was being finalized on a BRO grant to replace the former Franklin Bridge just outside of St. Mary. The 103-year-old bridge on Franklin Road, over the St. Laurent Creek, built in 1920, had been on the verge of being condemned in 2020. The county spent nearly $50,000 to replace a bad turnbuckle and replace the wooden planking with a metal grate.
The bridge finally had to be removed earlier this year after the creek banks eroded too much to support it. It was sold to the Fischer Family Fun Farm and moved to its new location. A longer span will be needed to replace it.
For the handful of county residents who live on Franklin Road, the bridge shaves miles and considerable time off of the alternate route. It is also much safer than going through Indian Hills – especially in bad weather.
Meanwhile, the city and county last year worked together to secure a FLAP grant to replace the circa 1935 Fourth Street bridge over the South Gabouri Creek, next to the city hall.
Manning stressed that they were in the “very early stages” of planning the aging bridge’s replacement. He asked whether the ideal setup would include a sidewalk on both sides of the bridge.
It was agreed that he would get cost estimates for various options.
The current bridge had a sidewalk added inside the east railing, thus squeezing the size of the two traffic lanes.
Manning remarked that it was nice to see the city and county working so well together.
Michele Gatzemeyer, associate county clerk, pointed out that city residents are also county residents.
Meanwhile, paperwork has also been submitted for a TAP grant to pay for the sidewalk replacement around the courthouse and on Highway 61, from Rozier to Parkwood.
• The commissioners officially appointed Lisa Marschel interim county collector.
• The commissioners reappointed Kylie Sulkowski to the county fair board
• Gatzemeyer said she is working on right of way paperwork.
• The commissioners approved Sheriff Gary Stolzer’s request to spend $48,680 on protective vests. Half of that figure will be reimbursed by grants.
• Chairman Kenny Williams and two other members of the county’s Republican Central Committee expressed concern over Kim Gielow’s resignation as county collector and Marschal’s appointment. (See separate story.) After the three peppered the commissioners with questions, the commissioners voted to go into closed session to discuss the situation. The remained in closed session some 90 minutes.
• During the Monday, Dec. 11 meeting, Vic Brown and Gail Palmer came in to discuss the county recycling center. The commission then approved paying a $12,640 invoice from Arnold Masonry for emergency repairs made to the recycling center building
• Jason Schott and Chuck Farr presented a request for proposals for the public safety towers for radio project.
• Also at the Monday meeting, Sandra Cabot of the Missouri Department of Economic Development gave an update on the Community Economic Development fund.
• Derek Welker spoke to the commission Monday regarding the county’s 2019 John Deere 672G motor grader, with a buyback agreement due to expire in 2024. The commissioners will decide whether to return the grader or keep it.
• Road and Bridge Foreman Scott Schmieder reported that he would reach out to a Trogdan Road resident about water issues. He said his crew was monitoring Avon Road to keep an eye open for problems.